Baby’s First Tooth!!

There are many milestones that your tiny bundle of joy will reach.  And as parents, we want that transition to be smooth and painless.  Growing a first tooth is a very exciting and important time in your baby’s 1st year, but it can often be a bit challenging and a bit of a mystery.  So today we are going to take some of the mystery out of it.  Here are the top 3 questions we get asked the most:

  1. When should I expect the first tooth to come in?

When your baby is born, they are already growing their first 20 teeth below the gums.  We expect the first tooth to cut through the gums between 6 to 10 months.  The first two teeth are typically the lower front 2 teeth followed by the upper 2 front teeth.  Below is a chart to show the average tooth eruption time frame.  Please know that some babies are earlier and others are late bloomers.

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  1. What symptoms can I expect?

The teething process can often be painful for your baby.  Common Symptoms include irritability, swollen gums and soreness, constant and excessive drooling, and sleep disruptions. We recommend the following tips to help ease the discomfort for your baby.

  1. Offer cold foods and beverages (frozen bananas, apples, or carrots)
  2. Provide cold teething rings or pacifier, or allow your baby to suck on a clean, cold moist cloth
  3. Rub your baby’s gums gently with your finger, or a cold spoon
  4. Dry the drool off of your baby’s face often, so that it does not cause a facial rash
  5. Give your baby extra cuddles!!

 

  1. When should I bring in my baby for a dental checkup?

First, if you see any concerns that need to be addressed, bring in your infant as soon as possible.  Dr. Morse recommends that you bring the tiny tots in with you for your dental cleaning appointments, for a “fun visit”, starting at age 2.  By the age of 3, we encourage children to start their own regular dental check ups!!

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The Daily Grind

No matter how well you care for your teeth during the day, you might be causing harm to them while you are sleeping, or in other situations without even realizing you are doing it.  As many as 80% of people are grinding and clenching their teeth, a condition known as bruxism, while they sleep or even in stressful situations.  Over time, these habits can wear on your teeth and cause permanent damage.

Causes and Symptoms of Bruxism

One of the most common reason for teeth grinding and jaw clenching is stress and anxiety. This can occur during the day or while you are sleeping.  Most people grind their teeth in their sleep, so you might not even realize that you are doing it, until it is brought to your attention by your dental professional at EJM Dental Studio.

Bruxism is one of many ways that our body physically manifests stress even if our minds aren’t aware of it. The next time you are in a high-stress situation, pay attention to what’s happening in your mouth. Are you clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth around?

Another very common cause of bruxism is mis-alignment of the teeth or jaw, known as malocclusion.  When teeth do not come together properly, or they do not come together in a position that’s comfortable for your jaw joint, the body will subconsciously try to find a more comfortable spot.

One way to know if you suffer from bruxism is waking up with a headache, sore mouth or a tight jaw. You might also notice that your teeth begin to wear down in odd patterns over time, and appear flat, or have become sensitive to temperature, especially cold.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Bruxism

The best way to confirm whether or not you suffer from bruxism is to mention your symptoms to us at your next appointment.  Dr. Morse will review the wear patterns on your teeth and examine your jaw to determine whether you’ve been grinding or clenching.

From there, Dr. Morse could choose from a few different treatments that she feels would best relieve your symptoms.  Everyone is different, and what works for one person may not work for another.  We believe in treating each patient individually, and finding what works best for YOU!!

Some of these treatment options can include warm massage therapy that you can do yourself, Botox treatment to relax the muscle, or a mouth guard to help protect your teeth and jaw from further damage.  If our team finds your grinding is caused by malocclusion, Invisalign, or orthodontic treatment may be recommended.  Each treatment is designed specifically for you, to make you most comfortable, and provide you with the best results.

-Melissa Gross, RDH

Understanding Dental Insurance

Are you having a hard time understanding your dental insurance?  Trying to decipher the various insurance companies’ information and benefits it can leave your head spinning. Here are some questions that I get and some answers to give some clarity:

What is a PPO? It stands for Preferred Provider Organization, meaning you can see any dentist that you would like that is in your plans network.

What is a HMO? It is a Health Maintenance Organization, with that you are limited to seeing certain providers that are in your network. So if have a name of a dentist on your card, you are limited to seeing that provider.

Do I have to see a provider in your network?  If you have a PPO, you certainly do not have to; however, when going outside of your network you are likely to have a slight fee difference based on the practice fees vs. what your insurance is willing to cover.

Why is my copay different from visit to visit? Since dental insurance covers a certain percentage of recommended treatment, depending on what treatment you are having done, you will have different amount of co-pay.  It is always recommended that when having extensive work done to have the practice submit a pre-determination to your insurance company.

There are many ways to maximum your dental benefits. Once we get some basic information, I can help you understand how your insurance works and ways to maximize it toward your dental visits.

At EJM Dental Studio we never want to see your dental concerns turn into financial concerns due to mis-understanding your dental insurance. My name is Janine, I am the insurance specialist here and if you have any specific insurance questions, please contact me at smile@ejmdentalstudio.com

Are you expecting?  Having a baby on the way is such an exciting whirlwind experience and one of the last things your are thinking about is your dental care. However good oral hygiene is incredibly important during this time.

There may be question and concerns that may be on your mind and here are some answers:

  • Are x-rays safe during pregnancy? According to the ACOR, no single x-ray has enough radiation to cause problems for the developing embryo or fetus.
  • Can taking antibiotics hurt the baby? Category B antibiotics such as Penicillin, Amoxicillin and Clindamycin are all safe to take during all three trimesters.
  • Is it only safe to see the dentist during the second trimester? You can see the dentist during any stage of pregnancy. The truth is you want to maintain your routine cleaning with your dentist.  With proper dental care you can reduce the risk of infections, gum disease and tooth decay.
  • If there is an emergency, is there a need to wait till after delivery? Not at all! Fillings, Root Canals and Extractions are all safe throughout the pregnancy. If it is a treatment the dentist recommends it is best to get it taken care of to avoid larger problems down the road.

Expectant mom’s go through many changes during pregnancy and with a combination of cravings and various hormone levels seeing her dental provider is key.  Some things that can be done at home to aid in good hygiene would be to brush after every meal, floss once a day, drink plenty of water and avoid sugary foods.   We recommend that expecting mothers get an extra cleaning .

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any other questions.  You can text us at 410-220-2339.  We can also set up a complimentary consultation with Dr. Elsie Joel-Morse to discuss any other concerns you may have.

Protect That Smile While You Play

What are sports guard or mouth guards?gum_guard

A guard that protects your teeth to prevent sport related dental injuries. It is a custom snug fit with dual layers for both maximum absorption and comfort. It is an important piece of athletic equipment if you play any sport that involves falls, body contact, and
/or flying equipment.  This includes football, basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey, skateboarding, biking – any sport that might involve injury to your mouth.

How can I get one?

There are a few different types of guards. Make sure it fits well, is comfortable and tear-resistant.  You can get a stock mouth guard or a boil-and-bite type of guards from a sports store.  A custom mouth guard can be fabricated here at EJM Dental Studio.  The custom guards are likely to provide the most comfortable fit and best protection.  Most athletes prefer to get a custom made guard for those reason.

 

How to care for your mouth guard:

*Transport and store guard in perforated container

*Avoid storing it in hot temperatures or direct sunlight

*Wash in cold water or mouth rinse prior to each use

*Avoid chewing on it like Step Curry to avoid weakening or tearing the material

*Bring your guard at each appointment and have Dr. Morse evaluate it.  We can get it all cleaned up too!

If you feel that you fall into the category of needing a sports guard, please contact us here at EJM Dental Studio and we can get you fitted for your custom guard.  Don’t get caught like Isaiah Thomas and keep all of your teeth while playing sports!

 

Kimberly Hardrich, RDH – May 11, 2017

Craving something sweet…try “real chocolate”!!

Dark chocolate, otherwise known as “real chocolate”, is made up of around 70% cocoa and only 30% powdered milk and sugar. Having a lower amount of powdered milk and sugar drastically reduces the detrimental effect that it could have on tooth enamel when compared to milk chocolate.  Therefore, dark chocolate is by far the better choice when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy and cavity free. There are some studies that even suggest that dark chocolate can be a cavity fighter.

Here are some unique benefits of dark chocolate:

  • Dark chocolate contains polyphenols. These chemicals can help fight the overgrowth of bacteria and other organisms in the mouth. They can neutralize organisms that cause bad breath and they can prevent some sugars form turning into acid, which can break down the enamel of your teeth and cause tooth decay and cavities.
  • Dark chocolate contains flavonoids.  Flavonoids have been shown to slow tooth decay.
  • Dark chocolate contains antioxidants. Antioxidants are beneficial to overall health in many ways but when it comes to oral health, having higher levels of antioxidants in your saliva has been shown to help fight gum disease.

So the next time you have a craving for something sweet, pick up some dark chocolate and help the enamel out!!  And if you have some extra  to share, just bring it by EJM Dental Studio, we would love some 🙂

 

What is a “Supra-Erupted” Tooth?

Supra-eruption is defined as “eruption of a tooth from its fully erupted position without alteration in the position of its supporting alveolar bone level”.

Why does this happen?
When a tooth is extracted and it is not replaced, the opposing tooth will continue to grow outward, either down or up, until it is stopped by resistance.  This over-eruption is supra-eruption.

What are the consequences?
If a tooth supra-erupts, it can eventually grow out of the socket! It can also cause you to bite your cheek or gums. It can be difficult to keep clean, causing food impaction, which can lead to decay and gum disease. The supra-erupted tooth will also lose support of the surrounding bone.

How can it be prevented?
Replacing the missing tooth within a few months of extraction.  It can be replaced with an implant or even a bridge.  Talk to your dentist to find the best treatment for you.

Can it be corrected?
1) Enameloplasty to remove 1-2mm of the enamel to improve the occlusion.
2) RCT if reduction of enamel so drastic the pulp will definitely be affected.
3) Extraction of the tooth if the root is involved and the tooth is too far outward.

If you had to tooth extracted recently, make an appointment with Dr. Morse for a complementary consultation to discuss possible treatment(s).

Fun Facts about Wisdom Teeth

Where did Wisdom teeth get their name? Wisdom teeth got their nickname from the age when they typically grow in. Wisdom teeth are actually called third molars. Most people refer to the third molars as wisdom teeth, but where did they get this name? The third molars do not grow out until the dental arch becomes larger, around the age of 17-25, a time also referred to as the “age of wisdom”.

Most have to be removed. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, an estimated 85% of wisdom teeth will eventually need to be removed. This can be because the teeth are impacted the area is difficult to reach, thus difficult to clean, leading to bacteria and infection. On the other hand 100 % of research shows that if you get your wisdom teeth out, you get to keep the rest of your teeth for the rest of your life.  This is because of the unreachable areas that harbor bacteria that then compromise neighboring teeth.

Some people are born without wisdom teeth. 35% of the population is born without wisdom teeth. Researchers debate whether this is evolution or culture. Humans no longer need these teeth for survival; however, some researchers have looked into the link between how different cultures use their jaws, and whether or not they have teeth. For example, in parts of East Asia, it’s more common to find people without wisdom teeth.

When should you get your wisdom teeth removed? There is no “correct age” for wisdom tooth removal. Some people get their wisdom teeth at a young age, while some others get them in adulthood. But if you need to remove wisdom teeth, it would be better to take them out younger because the healing process would be a bit quicker. If you’re unsure, you should see a dentist to get a proper wisdom tooth examination and treatment plan.

Should I use a Mouthwash?

When it comes to mouthwash, there are plenty of choices.  Lets break it down so that you can choose the right one for you.  If you want recommendations, please talk to Dr. Morse or Kim at your next cleaning visit.

There are two categories of mouth rinses: Over-the-counter & prescription. Both products are meant to help remove oral debris before or after brushing. These products provide a pleasant taste in the mouth and temporary relief from bad breath while diminishing bacteria in the mouth. Therapeutic rinses are prescribed by a dentist and contain active ingredients that protect against some oral diseases.

What are the pros and cons of using mouthwashes?

Pros:

  • Improved health of gums
  • Germ killing effects
  • Fresh taste
  • Cavity prevention

Cons:

  • Altered taste
  • Tooth staining
  • Drying of oral tissues in the mouth
  • Burning sensation

When selecting a mouth rinse choose one that is based on your individual needs. If you want to avoid or have dry mouth, but want a nice taste, you should look for a non-alcohol mouthwash so your tissues stay moist. If you are more prone to have cavities, you should use a fluoride rinse. It is best to consult with a general dentist about the best mouth rinse to meet the needs of your mouth.

What are the proper steps when using mouth rinses?

  • Before using a mouth rinse, brush and floss teeth.
  • Measure the proper amount of rinse recommended on the container or by a dentist.
  • Close lips and, keeping teeth slightly apart, swish liquid around the mouth.
  • Thirty seconds is the suggested rinsing time.
  • Finally, spit liquid from mouth thoroughly.
  • Do not rinse, eat, or smoke for thirty minutes after using a mouthwash. Doing so will diminish the effects of the mouthwash.

3 Things We Love

There are 3 things we recommend to each and every patient in order to eliminate as much bacteria from your mouth as possible. We are comprehensive providers, so what that means is that we believe each of these tips will help you achieve optimum oral health!

1. Electric Tooth Brush

We would love for all of our patients to use an electric toothbrush at home and the SONICARE electric toothbrush is our favorite! We now carry the Flexcare Platinum Connected brush with bluetooth wireless technology and smart sensors. The electric toothbrush is (90%?) more effective at plaque removal than manual brushing alone. You will find less gum recession and cleaner teeth due to the fact that the Sonicare has a setting for gum massage and for whitening! The sonic vibrations are perfect for blasting off plaque and for gently massaging the gums!  **We recommend changing brush heads every three months.

2. Toms Flat Floss

We recommend daily flossing with thread floss in order to wrap the floss around as much tooth surface as possible in a C shape. We love TOMS floss for many reasons. It is thicker than most floss which means the thread will separate and clean more of the tooth than the thin ones. It is also lightly waxed and is perfect for grabbing out food debris and bacteria leaving behind happy healthy gums!

3. Tongue Cleaner

Your tongue is a trap for bacteria and odor and for proper cleaning, you should use a tongue cleaner instead of a toothbrush. Brushing your tongue is like sweeping a carpet with a broom. It doesn’t really clean it. The Philips Sonicare tongue cleaner is a flexible reusable tool that effectively removes bacteria from your tongue.

* For your convenience we carry all 3 products in our office for purchase*  Ask us about the HYGIENE Pack at your next dental visit.